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An Independent Monthly Newspaper Serving the Community since 1988
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Tiger Cubs

At their Blue and Gold Banquet, the boys of Troop 708 learn from Scout Master David Gardener.

Tiger Cubs build and grow

—Suzann Owings

Troop 708 will meet at 3 p.m. on Friday afternoons, at Placitas Elementary School, thanks to the efforts of the parents and scouting leaders, and the forward thinking leadership of the PES principal and Bernalillo Public Schools.

For the boys in Troop 708, Scout Master David Gardener has planned adventures that combine service projects, outdoor activities, and advancement though the scouting ranks. “Scouting is a family activity,” says David Gardener. “More adults and boys are welcome.”

Prospective Tiger Cubs and their parents are invited to stop by any Friday and get information on joining the boys, grades one through five. They should be warned that the Troop is starting their own Pinewood Derby, and so should join soon to get in on the fun.

“Our renewed troop comes as a team effort from the head of the scouts for this region down to the boys looking for the new challenges that scouting offers,” said Snow Watson, president of the Optimist Club de Sandoval. “We especially want to thank Las Placitas Presbyterian Church for generously helping us to get re-launched.”

For further information, contact Snow Watson at 867-2047.


USDA Forest Service makes $1 million dollar commitment

—U. S. Forest Service

On March 2, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced USDA’s continuing commitment to get kids outdoors, as well as connected to the natural world around them, with a commitment of one million dollars in cost-share funding from the U.S. Forest Service meant to enhance children’s programs in eighteen states.

Vilsack highlighted the announcement at the Interior Department during the White House conference “Growing America’s Outdoor Heritage and Economy.” This conference emphasized the link between conservation and strong local economy, focusing on tourism, outdoor recreation, and maintaining healthy land, water, and wildlife. The conference attracted boaters, hunters, anglers, farmers, ranchers, land conservationists, historic preservationists, outdoor recreationists, small business owners, local governments, tribal leaders, and others from across the fifty states to discuss ways to spur and support successful conservation projects around the nation.

Programs in New Mexico include Children’s Water Festival Enhancement Project in the Gila National Forest. The Gila Conservation Education Center partners with the Gila National Forest to provide science education programs on the forest. Since 2004, they have hosted a Children’s Water Festival for local fourth and fifth graders. However, due to expense of the project, only students from one urban school district can be served. The project will now reach 820 underserved youth, adding three participating school systems and four new collaborating partners.

Also being funded is Connecting Kids to the River Forest in Santa Fe National Forest. This will focus on the forest and uplands at Buckman, a historic railway town on lands managed by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. This project involves forest restoration and a direct water diversion from the Rio Grande River. Activities include monitoring vegetation, erosion control and water quality testing. Teacher training in water quality, forest ecology, and ecological monitoring will be included.


YCC Project

Photo credit: —Ty Beklnap
Rick Catanach and the Town of Bernalillo Youth Conservation Corp crew complete adobe work on the new sign in front of Bernalillo Town Hall. Notices and announcements will be electronically updated. Paper information will be in a case below.

YCC projects progress

Signpost staff

Last month the Bernalillo Youth Conservation Corps put the finishing touches on the support structure for an electric sign in front of Town Hall. The YCC modified the brick structure to include a bench on one side and a bulletin board on the other. Rick Catanach, who manages YCC projects designed the modifications and used salvaged lumber from an historic adobe house in Albuquerque.

The electric sign will be updated as needed to display announcements of meetings, events, and updates on infrastructure issues.

Last year, the state Youth Conservation Corps awarded the YCC program of the Town of Bernalillo a $300,000 grant. The funds are designated to pay wages of the youthful employees who have been restoring several historic buildings.

The money has helped the YCC complete ongoing projects including the Graber House which is being retrofit as a residence for the adjacent town of Bernalillo Fire Department. The Graber House project began in February of 2009 and is scheduled for completion by summer of 2012.

The YCC has rebuilt the wine museum at Loretto Park and is currently restoring the ruins of the two-story adobe mill next to the downtown Rail Runner station.

Town will celebrate Earth Day and earthen architecture with adobe workshops at YCC construction sites from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on April 20.
 
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